As a legal matter, Long Islanders can enjoy trout fishing year-round, but the harsh conditions of the past few months have not been friendly to recreational fishing, so there’s probably some pent-up demand ready for the official opening of trout season state-wide on April 1.
According to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey, in 2011, New York State was second in the nation in total spending on fishing-related items, and remains a clear leader in paid angler licenses, with nearly one million purchased.
Pat Gallagher is one in that million, a bankruptcy specialist with the Nassau County Attorney’s Office who spends weekends fishing from his kayak. The Garden City resident, a graduate of Chaminade, Fordham and Hofstra, started fishing when he was 10 years old, and now regularly paddles the waters around Long Island and beyond. “I really need the balance,” he says. “I think it helps me to be more productive.” (You can follow him through the fishing season online at longislandkayakangler.blogspot.com)
Situated in the warmest corner of the state, Long Island is first in line for seasonal resupply by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
“DEC is beginning its fish-stocking efforts,” said Commissioner Joe Martens. “[We] will continue these efforts throughout the spring to ensure New York’s lakes, rivers
and streams provide ample opportunities for anglers to reel in a great catch.”
The new fish will join trout that wintered over from fall 2013 in waters such as Massapequa Reservoir, Upper Twin Pond, and Oyster Bay Mill Pond. These bodies tend to retain a good number of fish from year to year, increasing the likelihood of landing a well-fattened specimen.
Recent upgrades now allow sportsmen to purchase and print their licenses — for fishing, hunting or both — from home by visiting www.licensecenter.ny.gov. A yearly license costs $25, but Gov. Cuomo is pushing the newly established lifetime licenses, long-term commitments that boost short-term revenue, at $460 apiece. Visit www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html for information on fishing locations and tips for beginning anglers.